Many of us will already recognise the big red smile on the Henry vacuum cleaner. This technological staple has been a must-have in all offices, schools, hospitals, and homes since its invention back in 1970. Since then, this loveable vacuum cleaner has become iconic, synonymous in style and up there with the likes of the Volkswagen, Mini Van and Andy Warhol prints.
Given that we all know, love, and rely on the Henry vacuum cleaner, he barely needs any introduction. However, not everyone can identify the members of Henry’s more extended family. The range incorporates more than just a friendly smile and a nostalgic red childhood vacuum. No, it also includes all of his cousins, his sister, and some of his uncles, too.
To put this tremendous error to rights, we took the time to introduce all of the various Henry Vacuums. Whether you want a female vacuum or a male, or even a non-binary one, Henry has the vacuum cleaner for you. Let’s get specific about where each model differs to help decide which of the Henry vacuum cleaners is the best one for you.
The Henry Family – A Quick Overview
The Henry vacuum cleaner (Henry isn’t actually made by Hoover!) includes the following models:
- Henry – the regular sized Henry comes in three different varieties.
- The Henry Micro – is the best vacuum for those with allergies. It uses special filtration to add an extra layer of dust-proofing.
- The Henry Xtra is made with extra tools, one of which is the Airobrush tool, suitable for pet hair and for hard floors, alike. This model is intended to be more versatile than the original.
- Hetty – slightly less powerful and more compact, Hetty is recognisable by her flashy pink appearance.
- George – giant, green, and suitable for wet and dry cleaning.
- Harry – comes with a charcoal filter that freshens and aimed at pet owners.
- Charles is also wet and dry, he is blue and has massive capacity of 15l dry and 9l wet cleaning.
- James – he’s yellow and comes with a storage caddy that keeps a myriad of tools handy.
A Bit About Numatic
Before we get stuck in fully to examining the different Henry models, we wanted to talk briefly about Numatic. This is the brand behind the Henry family, who are giving this range of vacuum cleaners a real run for their money.
Numatic International are a wholesome British firm with their origins in Somerset, circa 1969. Arguably, the founding date of the firm is why we associate the Henry vacuum cleaner with 60s and 70s memorabilia. The fact that only a few tweaks to the original model of vacuum cleaner have needed made in all that time is astounding. The Henry is more than 50 years old!
In the 70’s Numatic had grown so much that they moved from Crewkerne to Yeovil and added a commercial vacuum cleaner to their product list. The NV-2 and the NV-250 were bigger than Henry, made out of steel for long wear, and are still being used in some facilities to this day. Whatever you say about the Henry range, these are machines that were built to last from the very beginning. There is a saying about things not being made the way they used to be with Henry this just isn’t true. They were always built to last.
Since the 90s, Numatic have become an international brand, expanding into Germany, Paris, Johannesburg, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Their products are known for longevity and durability. To date, Numatic have sold more than 11 million of these nifty little vacuums and they estimate that most are still being used… even those early models that were hammered out of steel in the first Somerset factory.
You can visit Numatic to find out more about their brand by following this link. Otherwise stay put to learn a little about all his many brothers and sisters.
The Henry Range in More Detail
Each of the Henry models are detailed below so you can choose which Henry vacuum cleaner suits your needs the best.
Henry Himself – The Basics
The eternally cheerful Henry vacuum is a big red bundle of easily recognisable joy. As well as being highly photogenic, Henry comes with a basic set of specs that are carried on throughout the range. He was first produced in the 80’s and Numatic hit the nail so firmly on the head that very few changes have had to be made to his original design over time.
Henry weighs a meagre 7.5 kgs. You can get him up and down the stairs without too much trouble, but we wouldn’t want to carry him for long periods. His combined hose and retractable wire (old models have a wind-up wire; new ones have the electric retractor) give him an extension of cleaning power that allows slightly over 26 metres from the power point. That’s enough to plug it into your living room socket and clean your whole two bedroom house.
The noise level isn’t too shabby, coming in under the 80 decibel level which is around the point where people get annoyed. It cleans with awesome suction for a model that is a Class A in energy efficiency. He has a dust capacity of 6 litres which is less than his bigger cousins and brothers… but he costs less than they do.
Overall, the Henry will give you 8/10 cleaning power, a medium capacity dustbin, 10/10 energy efficiency and will last you for the rest of your life. It might well be the best £150 that you ever spend.
Click here to read our full review of this machine.
Hetty – the Pink One
Hetty Het160 is a lovely version of Henry. We imagine that little girls would have been thrilled to see her when she first came onto the scene, back in the 80’s and 90’s. Hetty is an equal opportunities Henry, more inclusive and slightly more compact than her brother. She also holds 6 litres of dust and uses the same bags (the whole range use the same bags, which is ultra-convenient) which seal after dust goes in, so that they don’t leak.
Other than the pink jacket and the feminine eyelashes, Hetty is almost exactly the same. It is nice to have the option of a slenderer machine that fits away neatly, but it isn’t essential. She comes with the same energy rating (Class A), decent suction power, and the same filters as the Henry. Another cool feature of this standard design is the bag capacity. The bags hold a full 9l but the dustbin capacity in this model is a smaller 6l. All this means for the consumer is that bags last a really, really long time without bursting.
Overall, the Hetty matches the Henry step-for-step and blow-for-blow. It all comes down to taste, we suppose. Hetty is much more fabulous than Henry is but has all the same features. Do with this information as you will.
For even more information, check out our full review of the Hetty vacuum.
Harry – the Green One
Harry the vacuum cleaner is similar to Henry but has been made to pick up pet hair, specifically. A good little runner that will give you a lifetime of service for your money, Harry brings the solution to the fine hair problem that our four-legged friends bring. Not all vacuums can handle the task of ensuring that pet hair doesn’t take over your home, but Harry makes it look easy.
Harry has won awards from Which? for his ability to clean up after any pet. He comes in at a remarkably similar price to the original Henry, which makes him even more special. We pet owners normally have to pay top dollar for a vacuum cleaner that does the job. It is a comfort to know that Harry, though green, is just as good value as his original version.
Hose and cable extension included, Harry actually stretches about 30cm farther than his predecessor and holds 9l of dirt and dust, as opposed to 6l. He weighs a little more because of this, though at only 8kgs he is easily handled up and down stairs or in and out to your vehicle. On top of all these added extras, Harry contains a MicroFresh charcoal filter which helps to neutralise pet odours and comes with a Hair-O brush that has been ergonomically designed to capture even the finest of hairs.
Overall, Harry is the best Henry model for pet owners or those worried about constantly fighting bad smells in the home. He’s just a dry vacuum, but he comes with all the energy, vigour, and longevity of any other Henry. If freshness is your issue, you would do well with a Harry.
Read our full review of the Harry vacuum.
George – A Green Wet-N-Dry Vacuum Solution
Continuing on our green theme, George the vacuum cleaner is another member of the Henry family guaranteed to impress with cleaning prowess… arguably more so. The George is a four-in-one cleaning machine, able to handle wet or dry carpets, upholstery cleaning and even work as a smaller tool given the right attachment (which comes with it).
George is the most expensive Henry vacuum cleaner, but this is only because he comes with so much power, so many attachments, and a barrel full of versatility as well. He has a full stretch range of 26.8 metres – enough to clean your whole house and car without having to switch socket. Which is just as well because with a weight of 11 kgs it is already a little hard to handle up and down staircases.
George is the model for you if you are looking for an all-in-one device that will clean everything from the cobwebs to the curtains. He has a 15l capacity for dry dirt and mess, and a 9l capacity for wet. He uses a Twin-flo motor for double power and slightly less energy efficiency, but he trades up with a Powerflo pump guaranteed to add suction to any mess.
Overall, George is a fantastic cleaning tool to add to your arsenal. There’s no job too big and no task too small. George can clean it all. We’re only surprised he doesn’t empty himself and put himself away, too.
Read our full review of the George vacuum.
Charles – the Wet-N-Dry in Blue
Charles is a step up from the standard Henry model in that he has all the same features as the George – without the multi-tool option. So while Charles can clean up wet spills and has the same wet/dry dustbin capacity, he doesn’t come with the option to wash your carpets or valet your car. He can, however, unblock drains with that massive 1060 watts of suction power. He also contains the same exemplary 26.8 metres of stretch, weighs 11 kgs, and features the possibility for wet/dry cleaning.
Charles has a switch with the wet or dry modes on the front which makes it easier to use and comes with a much smaller price tag than the George. He is bright blue and completely watertight, so you won’t make him explode if you accidentally vacuum up a spilled drink. With the Charles, you could even clean up that spilled drink on purpose and come away with a pristine machine.
Overall, Charles performs well in any given situation. Just because he can’t wash and dry your rugs doesn’t mean he doesn’t pack a powerful cleaning punch. Of all the Henry models, Charles and George are those most likely to be found in a commercial situation.
Read our full review of the Charles vacuum.
James – the Yellow One
Henry’s yellow cousin is big on storage and a little smaller in most other areas… except price. Notably, this vacuum cleaner comes with a huge storage compartment and an insane number of additional tools and parts, all of which are designed to fit snugly into the removable top compartment.
As well as extra storage, James’ bright yellow face brings you a wind-up cord, A Class energy efficiency, and an 8l drum for dust and dirt. As if that weren’t already pretty amazing, it also manages to beat its predecessor in terms of weight, coming in at an impressive 7kgs. With more than 26 metres of reach, the James outdoes the original Henry and leaves us all in awe.
Overall, James comes with storage which is much needed by all. It doesn’t hold the full 9 litres that other models do, and it doesn’t have any special motors or filters added in. Arguably, you are paying extra for storage which you might not need if the vacuum itself didn’t come with so many attachments. When you weigh this as an option be sure to consider the high energy efficiency and neatness of design that makes it so great.
Read our full review of the James vacuum.
The Henry Xtra
This larger model of the standard Henry comes with extra attention to fine detail. What we mean by this is that it picks up particles we can’t even see, making it the second top best Henry vacuum cleaner to buy if you have a pet.
It weighs only 8kgs, quite light for what it is, and looks reminiscent of the standard model except for the ‘Xtra’ which has been added into the design. It has a 9 litre dustbin capacity, much higher than other models and a perfect use of the extra space. It also comes with a patented Air-O brush which has been specifically devised for pet hair and which only comes with this model, the George 4-in-1, and the Harry. It has a wide range of attachments which are all aimed at making cleaning easier across the board.
Overall the Xtra is inexpensive, comes with a high energy rating, the same 26.4 reach of the James, and caters to pet owners. It’s lightweight, quiet, and does everything the Henry forgot to do – but doesn’t include the wet/dry feature that some of the other models do.
Read our full review of the Henry Xtra.
The Henry Micro
Smallest of the three Henry originals you will find on our pages, the Micro has only a 6 litre dust bin for storing dirt. Its range is also shorter, coming in at 26.1 metres away from the source of power. The thing that makes the Micro stand out is that added double filtration system which makes it perfect for air purification. If you are allergic to something in your home but don’t know what it is, this vacuum cleaner can clean the air and get rid.
As usual, the Micro Henry comes with all the longevity and durability you would expect from this exemplary range. It looks almost the same as the basic model but has the ‘Micro’ scrawled on top. It also weighs only 7.5 kgs, just like the original, making it easy to get around your home. As an added bonus this is a small, compact machine that makes it ideal for smaller apartments.
Overall, the Micro adds a secure layer of protection for those who are sick of sneezing in their own home. It is a stand-out allergen buster which has the length of life of a Numatic vacuum cleaner… and that says it all, really.
How To Choose the Best Henry Vacuum for You?
Now that we have described the range in more detail, we want to pass on the information you need to make the best decision over what Henry vacuum is right for you. To help your decision, we listed what each model is best used for, as follows:
- Best Vacuum Cleaner Overall – the regular Henry is a great all-round model. However, if you want to buy one cleaning tool and no others, check into the George. That 4-in-1 makes it the ideal home cleaning system without you needing to buy a plethora of products.
- Best Vacuum Cleaner for pet hair – the Harry vacuum has been designed with pet owners in mind. It collects fine pet hair and even contains a charcoal filter to treat pet odours. However, the Henry Xtra also performs well against animal fur.
- Best Wet Cleaning – the best wet cleaner could be the George, but the Charles does a great job of cleaning up wet spills, too. It just doesn’t have the added extras and 4-in-1 capacity of the George.
- Best for Allergies – If you have allergies in the home you need the Micro, closely followed by the Xtra which has enough tools to see you successful.
- Best for Storage – would have to be the James, which has the extra compartment to contain the hundred or so tools that comes with it.
- Best for lasting the distance – leave it to Hetty if you need a cleaner that you are going to be carrying from room to room, or across long distances. Any of the models will be able to keep up with you, but she is nice and light, so she won’t cause you an injury while you do so.
Your Henry Vacuum Questions – Answered!
Q: What is the cheapest Henry vacuum?
A: Harry, Henry, Henry Xtra, and Hetty, all come in at the same price point. You will find they are all the cheapest of the Henry vacuum cleaner range.
Q: What is the most expensive Henry vacuum?
A: The George is the most expensive of the Henry vacuum cleaner range. George comes with multiple tools and a 4-in-1 cleaning capacity. It isn’t just a vacuum cleaner, it is also a car valet cleaning tool, perfect for upholstery, and can unblock drains with suction power. George might be the most expensive, but he is also the most multi-functional.
Q: Which Henry is the most powerful?
A: This depends on what you need it for. The best overall in terms of performance is definitely the regular Henry as he is good all-round. However, George and Charles will clean up wet spills, too. Harry is the best for pet owners since it will get all that pet hair up, but Hetty can also hold her own. The most thorough suction is probably on the Henry Micro, which has extra filtration for dust particles and works hard to keep your home allergen free.
Q: Where can I buy a Henry vacuum cleaner?
A: Right here on our pages, you can buy a Henry vacuum cleaner near you, in the UK. If you can’t find the link you are looking for then drop us a line. We are more than happy to help you choose from this award-winning range of vacuums.